What would it take to keep the Bay Area’s farms prosperous?
A protected greenbelt? A regional economic development strategy? Affordable loans for farmers? A group of 35 Bay Area leaders met on November 9 at the San Francisco Foundation to wrestle with these questions and more in the hopes of finding a system which will keep our food local and our greenbelt intact.
Two guests, Shelley Petrie of the Friends of Greenbelt Foundation in Ontario, Canada, and Todd Erling of the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation led the conversation based on the models their organizations have adopted in Toronto and Hudson Valley, respectively. (To read more about the specific model each organization uses to support local farming, check out the embedded PowerPoints below.)
Attendees were inspired by the success of these two organizations and agreed that the Bay Area is ripe for implementing an economic development strategy that combines our love of local food, a passion for open spaces, and our entrepreneurial spirit.